Going to university can be a daunting experience, especially when students are in a new place, being asked to study in a different way amongst a new group of people. Whilst your students are preparing to start their university journey, it can be beneficial for them to understand what support is available throughout their degree.
One of the biggest differences between home life and university life is the independence they gain. Students may be managing money on a bigger scale for the first time, and there are lots of ways universities can help them approach this. Many places will offer scholarships, which are sums of money they don’t need to pay back. Scholarships can help to financially support their studies, a musical hobby or a sport. At Swansea University, we offer academic scholarships of £3000 to students who achieve AAA at A-level (or equivalent), and £2000 for AAB grades. Student Finance will also base their loan amount on their household income to make sure they are supported appropriately, and universities may offer additional bursaries and hardship funds for specific circumstances. A great tip we suggest is to work out a weekly budget and stick to it. Calculating their income and comparing it to their outgoings will help them understand how much disposable income they have available.
Another important part of their university experience will be managing their mental health. Not only will your students be organising themselves for the first time, they’ll also be looking after themselves. There is a range of support at university to help with this, from health services on or around campuses, to wellbeing teams and specific support for international students. Getting involved with societies or volunteering can also be a great way to meet people whilst they’re away from home. Swansea University provides wellbeing programmes for students throughout the year, including yoga, dog-petting, and massage sessions during exam season. We are partnered with the TogetherAll app, which provides 24/7 support from trained clinicians for all students. CBT-based Stress Control courses are also available, alongside The Listening Service run by our Chaplaincy.
If your students are applying to university and require support for a disability, it can be crucial to research the services available from their chosen institution beforehand. Most universities will have dedicated teams who can discuss the specific assistance available in regards to course delivery, assessment methods and accommodation options. At Swansea, we have teams dedicated to mental health support and Autism Spectrum Conditions, amongst other tailored support for a range of student needs. Applying for the Disabled Students Allowance can also help to cover any extra study costs related to their condition, and they don’t need a confirmed university place to apply for this. For more information, visit this comprehensive guide from Student Finance Wales.
Whatever their circumstances, studying at university can be a great opportunity for your students to explore their potential in a supported environment. If there is any uncertainty about how a student will be supported, we suggest advising them to contact their chosen university before applying.
3 May 2021.